Making Taiwan work

As a follow up to my previous post, as to why Taiwan, came the part of how to make Taiwan work for a relocation. Just as I was heading home on December 11, Covid was taking a hold in Asia. Unlike western nations that wouldn't realize the potential impact Covid would have until around mid-March, in Asia precautions were being implemented everywhere in December. Landing back in Toronto it seemed that the reaction in the pacific rim was just an exaggerated response to a problem that did not exist. This obviously all started to change.

As I was heading back to Canada, I began making plans to relocate around July 2020. I started looking into the different visas, and how to be able to stay in Taiwan for a minimum of five years. I figured out that being Canadian meant I could spend up to 180 days in Taiwan on a visitor visa. As I work remotely, I figured this would work for me, as it would provide me with sufficient time to find a local job or something similar for me to obtain an ARC (alien resident certificate). More on the ARC in follow up posts, but in case you are wondering, it is nearly impossible to do anything in Taiwan without an ARC. It is required to open a bank account, get a local cell phone sim and plan, rent a place, use YouBike aka UBike (the public bike system) etc etc etc. With the ARC difficult to obtain I began to realize how big of a risk I was going to be taking relocating to Taiwan. I even began to doubt my plans. This is the time that I began to figure out the issues of moving to a country that did not appear open to foreigners, and the reasons so many chose to make Thailand their home. The two places are quite possibly polar opposites when it comes to foreigners.

Then my plans quickly changed. Taiwan shut down to tourists, and the 180 days no longer mattered. There was now no way of entering Taiwan or any other country in the region. At first I thought that by November of 2020 things would surely return to normal, and decided to postpone my July plan for the end of 2020. Things seemed much worst in April when Toronto, Canada went into full lockdown which was supposed to last until the end of May, but just seemed to keep getting extended. Taiwan as with other places in the region removed any reference to entry restrictions being lifted. At this point I thought my move would have to be postponed indefinitely. 

Then in July 2020 I began seeing postings about the Taiwan gold card. The gold card is essentially a 4 in one visa good for one to three years. It contains an ARC, re-entry permit, an open work permit, and the ability to bring family members over as well. For anyone interested, full details about the Taiwan gold card visa can be found here.

With this, I began the application process in July of 2020, under the economy qualifications and I received my gold card in September of 2020. With this, I figured it was time to start planning for my move, which at this point was looking like January 2021. This is when another issue appeared. My cat, I did not realize my cat could pose an issue. Taiwan is a rabies free place, and to my surprise, Canada is considered a rabies infected country. Did not see this coming. Thought I would just need to ensure the cat got her rabies vaccine between 30 days to a year and could ship her over. 

For a pet entering Taiwan for a rabies infected country, the pet needs to be given a rabies shot, and after 30 days a titer test has to be done to measure antibodies and ensure the vaccine took. From there, need to wait over 180 days to ship the pet. With the issues with the cat needing to be sorted, the start of tax season in Canada, my move date changed to March 2021. Should also note, that by this point six months of my three year gold card had also expired. But my move to Taiwan was all set for March 11th, and my ticket was booked. In late February I got a notification from Eva Air that my flight to Taiwan was cancelled. The newest set back, but I was able to book on the March 4th flight. This was seven days sooner than I was expecting to land in Taiwan but it would have to do. 

This was the process I went through to make Taiwan work. I will get back to my cat in a future post.

Here are a few additional resources regarding the gold card:

Gold card application site -

Official gold card office -

Unofficial gold card office -

Site I used to figure out how to apply for the gold card -

Additional site about the gold card -

Gold card Facebook group -

Gold card line group - Gold Card Holders 

Gold card slack channel - Gold Card Community


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